Sheikh Jamal caused a major upset in Group E of the AFC Cup on Tuesday when they beat Tampines Rovers 3-2 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
While Sheikh Jamal are already out of the competition, their victory over Tampines is still hugely significant in the group.
After the completion of match-day five, Group E has Ceres La Salle FC at the top with nine points. Selangor FA are second with eight points and are followed by Tampines who have slipped to third with seven points. Sheikh Jamal are bottom with three points however they will be relieved that they have finally got on the board in this year’s competition.
Landing Darboe scored first in what turned out to be an enthralling, end-to-end game of football that did the reputation of the AFC Cup no harm at all. After 20 minutes the Gambian forward netted from a tight angle to give the Bangladeshi outfit the early advantage.
Tampines equalised just before the half time break when their inspirational leader Mustafic Fahrudin headed in Jermain Pennant’s corner from the left from close in. Pennant was a joy to watch throughout the game and his quality that earned him a career in the English Premier League was clear for all to see.
Fahrudin then went from hero to villain after half time as he gifted Sheikh Jamal a penalty after upending Wedson Anselme. Emeka Onuoha made no mistake from the spot.
The visitors again drew themselves level with just twenty minutes remaining as Shahdan Sulaiman’s effort from distance was only half-stopped by Mohammad Himel and Billy Mehmet was on hand to tap into a vacant net.
Then, in the 82nd minute, just as the tempo of the game began to slow down and a draw seemed the most likely outcome, Darboe completed his brace from inside the area after running on to Anselme’s perfectly weighted through-ball.
The group is now set-up for a dramatic finale. In the final round of matches Ceres play Sheikh Jamal and Tampines meet with Selangor.